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After an Odd Year, Oddfellows Opens a New Shop

Oddfellows Williamsburg, at 40 River St. (Photos: James Pothen)

Here’s a scoop: Oddfellows is open again in Williamsburg. 

“We’re right on Domino Park this time,” said Andy Mullins. “I’m staring at the Empire State building.” The new shop is a few blocks south of the original, at the intersection of Grand Street and River Street. Like before, patrons can sit by the window and take in the Manhattan skyline. And instead of tables and chairs there are now booths opposite the L-shaped counter for groups. More →

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Crashing the Sausage Party: A Pizzaiola Rises Among the Pie Guys

(Photo courtesy of Miriam Weiskind)

New York City’s local pizzaiolos (Italian for “dude who slings pizzas”) have a lot in common. Although they each have their own recipes and twists, they’re all on a mission to source the freshest ingredients and make their pie stand out among the rest, a somewhat difficult task when working with the same simple ingredients. Another stark similarity: they’re almost all men.  More →

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Can Williamsburg’s Record Stores Get Back Into the Groove?

Rough Trade NYC. (Photo: David Hilowitz via Wiki Commons)

Like the plague victim in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, “I’m not dead yet!” is the obstinate cry of independent record stores coping with lockdowns and reduced foot traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Brooklyn’s northwest corner, two Williamsburg record stores have announced the closing of their brick-and-mortar locations, leaving a temporary void of arts and culture in a neighborhood already disappearing under commercial chain stores and high-rise apartments. Rough Trade NYC and Human Head Records both say they have plans to reopen in new locations later in the year, but their vague announcements made me nervous. More →

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Pluck of the Irish: Pubs Prepare For a More Subdued St. Paddy’s

(Photos: Anna Venarchik)

After a devastating year and a bitter winter, things are looking up for the restaurant industry. On March 11, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which will allow qualifying restaurants to put $28.6 billion in grants toward rent, maintaining outdoor structures, and food and beverage expenses. The aid, the warming weather, and the expansion of indoor dining in New York City are timely for a sector within the sector that is eager to celebrate its biggest day of the year: St. Patrick’s Day. More →

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Live Music Returns in April, and The Bowery Electric Is Ready to Rock

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(Photos: Anna Venarchik)

“When we got the announcement, [we started having] conference calls every day between my production crew, the owners, my builders, my staff,” said Megan Zarnott, the general manager at The Bowery Electric, a music venue in the East Village. She’s referring to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s March 3 decision to allow art and entertainment venues to reopen at 33 percent capacity. The announcement precedes the anniversary of stage closures, and Zarnott and her team are wasting no time reuniting musicians and audiences. On Friday, the rock-and-roll hub announced singer-songwriter Jesse Malin would inaugurate The Bowery Electric’s live music return on April 2—the first day venues are allowed to reopen. More →

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Bushwick Collective Aims to Bring Block Party Back to Brooklyn

(Photo by Moiz K. Malik/NOOKLYN)

The Bushwick Collective is well known for putting up murals around the city in collaboration with artists from around the world. But the Brooklyn-based project is perhaps most notorious for the event that started it all in 2011: its annual block party, a celebration combining street art, local vendors, and performances by musicians that draws a crowd of thousands each year. More →

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How New York’s TikTokers Live the #NYCDream, Warts and All

(Photo: Trish Rooney)

Olivia Marcus, a 24-year-old broadcast journalism graduate working at a media agency, had a weird day on TikTok this January. A “day in the life” she posted was reposted to Twitter by a journalist from Rolling Stone, and the hate comments started to flood in. “I spent, like, I’m not joking, 36 hours reading comments being like, I cannot believe these people think the stuff about me,” Olivia said. More →